Spring brings a fresh crop of questions

With spring’s arrival, I find my “pondering” is more frequent than usual. It’s as though the warmer weather and sunny days have awakened synapses in my brain that have lain dormant over the long, cold winter. Many of the thoughts and questions that fill my head are triggered by what I see in my own backyard as nature wakes up around me.

New life co-mingles with the old and the dead. Many trees have both buds or flowers and a few straggling dead leaves that have held on persistently through fall and winter. New blades of grass grow up and around broken branches deposited on our lawn by winter’s winds. I ask myself: What old or broken things in my life do I need to clear out or clean up to make room for healthy, new growth?

flower and thorn

But not all that grows is desirous. Prickly brambles creep up from the dirt alongside daffodils and hyacinths. Oak saplings appear in areas designated for manicured flower beds. And vines twist themselves around fences and railings, growing more insistent with each lengthening day. Left to their own, those little plants can eventually take over and do damage. I wonder: What unhealthy vines and brambles have I allowed to grow in my life that threaten what I’m intentionally growing or building?

Not all plants make a comeback after a long winter’s nap. The lilac bush in our back yard has long struggled, with fewer and fewer branches each year yielding leaves and blooms. Each spring, I’ve carefully pruned the deadwood, hoping to give the bush one more chance. But this year, nearly all the branches are bare, and it seems time to finally remove it and plant something else. In my own life: What “dead” thinking or behavior do I need to chop down and replace with a fresh attitude or habit?

As I sit on the front porch, papa bird flies back and forth to the nest he and his mate have built in the eave. He brings bug after bug to nesting mama bird—so industrious and diligent, undeterred by distractions, a singleness of purpose. I reflect: What do I pour such energy and focus into? And are those things most deserving of such energy?

This spring, what thoughts and questions are sprouting for you? What do you need to think about afresh?